(Oiler by Takeshi Yuki)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
Revision 3

8 July 1943:
Aioi. Laid down by Harima Shipbuilding as a 5,141-ton Type 1TM Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker for Nippon Kaiun K. K., Tokyo.

30 September 1943:
Launched and named ASASHIO MARU.

15 November 1943:

17 November 1943:
Chartered by the IJN as the 29th (AO) oil transport ship.

18 November 1943:
Departs Tokuyama.

20 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

23 November 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

24 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Takes on 89 passengers.

26 November 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 December 1943:
ASASHIO MARU departs Moji for Singapore in Part 1 of convoy HI-23 consisting of tankers ICHIU, RYUEI and OMUROSAN MARUs and cargo-passenger ship AKI MARU and cargo liner NOSHIRO MARU escorted by destroyer NAMIKAZE and fleet oiler TAKASAKI.

5 December 1943:
The second echelon of convoy HI-23 departs Moji consisting of oilers TATEKAWA, ITSUKUSHIMA and BOKUEI MARUs escorted by fleet oiler OSE (ex-Dutch GENOTA).

Oiler RYUEI MARU and passenger cargo ships AKI and NOSHIRO MARUs are also in the convoy, but in which part is unclear.

6 December 1943:
Fleet oiler SUNOSAKI from Sasebo joins convoy HI-23 at sea.

17 December 1943:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.

19 December 1943:
At 1200, ASASHIO MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-24 consisting of passenger/cargo ships ASAHI and TERUKUNI MARUs, cargo liner ARABIA MARU and oiler BOKUEI MARU escorted by kaibokan KANJU.

28 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

4 January 1944:
ASASHIO MARU is detached for Sasebo. Near Moji, BOKUEI MARU collides with TERUKUNI MARU and sinks at 34-04N, 130-32E. Only one crewman is KIA. Later that day, the rest of the convoy arrives at Moji.

10 January 1944:
At 1600, ASASHIO MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-33 consisting of cargo ship AOBASAN MARU and tankers YUHO, TARAKAN and ASANAGI MARU and an unidentified ship escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU and minelayer YAEYAMA.

13 January 1944:
Escort carrier KAIYO joins convoy HI-33.

14 January 1944:
At 1930, arrives at Takao.

16 January 1944:
At 1400, departs Takao. Arrives at Manila.

17 January 1944:
Convoy HI-33 departs Manila escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, minelayer YAEYAMA, subchaser CH-36 and escort carrier KAIYO, but KAIYO develops a steering problem and is forced to return to Manila later that day.

23 January 1944:
At 1030, the convoy arrives at Singapore.

23 February 1944:
Departs Moji in convoy HI-49 also consisting of KYOKUHO, EIHO MARUs, and one unidentified merchant ship with unknown escort.

28 February 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao. Joined by transport HAKOZAKI MARU (bound for Manila) and kaibokan SADO and SHIMUSHU.

29 February 1944:
At 2100, departs Takao.

1 March 1944:
Requisitioned by the IJN and registered in the Yokosuka Naval district as an auxiliary tanker (Otsu) Category under internal order No. 393.

6 March 1944:
At 2315, arrives Cap St Jacques and destroyer SHIOKAZE joins the escort.

7 March 1944:
At 1700, departs Cap St Jacques.

11 March 1944:
At 1810, arrives at Singapore.

16 March 1944:
Departs Singapore for Palau.

27 March 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

30 March 1944: American Operation “Desecrate One” :
Off Babelthuap, Palau. The anchorage is attacked by F6F "Hellcats", SBD "Dauntless", TBF "Avenger" and SB2C "Helldivers" of Task Group 58. 1's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and USS COWPENS (CVL-25), TG 58. 2's USS BUNKER HILL (CV-17), USS HORNET (CV-12), USS MONTEREY (CV-26) and USS CABOT (CVL-28) and TG 58. 3's USS YORKTOWN (CV-10), USS LEXINGTON (CV-16), USS PRINCETON (CVL-23) and USS LANGLEY (CVL-27).

At 0830, as ASASHIO MARU is slowly leaving Kobasang Harbor, she is attacked by a USS HORNET SB2C. The Helldiver drops two 1,000-lb bombs. ASASHIO MARU probably sustains a hit or near miss by at least one of the bombs. She stops and goes dead in the water. At about 0900, ASASHIO MARU is attacked by three Avenger torpedo-bombers from USS YORKTOWN. All three drop torpedoes and one gets a hit portside amidships. ASASHIO MARU sinks at 07-25.35N, 134-25.35E. 18 crewmen are KIA.

10 May 1944:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 949.

ASASHIO MARU is refloated and salvaged by Fujita Salvage K. K., of Osaka, Japan.

Authors' Note:
Thanks goto Gilbert Casse of France for his contribution to revisions.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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